Angel Deradoorian wanted my delivery info. Talking over FaceTime from her plant-filled dwelling within the Mount Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles, the amiable 34-year-old musician was giving me an abbreviated model of the Vedic astrology readings she has provided since learning this type of astronomical inquiry in 2018. Occasional glimpses of her forearm revealed a tattoo depicting the phases of the moon.
“You’ve obtained a reasonably handsome chart — not an excessive amount of hell being raised,” she mentioned dryly, parsing the celestial info on her laptop display screen indicating that since 2016 I’ve been present process a interval of deep transformation. “You may make quite a lot of change while you let go for a short time.”
Having as soon as stop a high-profile band — the art-pop ensemble Soiled Projectors, by which she was a bassist and vocalist from 2006 till late 2011 — to embark on her personal musical journey, Deradoorian appears well-suited to advise on issues of threat and progress. She’s since change into a compelling presence in unbiased music: able to channeling mystical information into her neo-psychedelic solo information, launched beneath her final identify, in addition to reworking into Ozzy Osbourne for her function in Black Sabbath Cover Band Rehearsals, an indie-rock tribute act that additionally options Nick Zinner from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
“It’s a special type of meditative music,” she mentioned of singing as a steel god.
To speak about self-actualization is one factor, however Deradoorian’s work embodies it, particularly within the earthy tones, churning drones and motorik grooves that comprise her second solo file, “Discover the Solar,” due Friday. The end result seems like Can with an acid-folk singer probing deep religious themes. “I’ve all the time been an enormous questioner of life,” she mentioned. “What I’m fascinated with is turning into self-aware.”
Within the years since her first solo album, “The Increasing Flower Pact” in 2015, Deradoorian had been largely nomadic and sometimes alone. Whereas the fixed motion helped her embrace a extra “unfastened and undefined” strategy to songwriting, she has been open about her struggles with funds and self-worth — the realities of life for a working musician.
“I didn’t have a band, I didn’t have a companion, I didn’t have a label for a part of that point, and I didn’t have any cash,” she mentioned. “I did transfer into solitude, away from individuals, very distant.”
Deradoorian was at a Vipassana retreat final summer time — in full silence for 10 days — when she was gripped by a number of realizations about her then-in-process file. One was that its aesthetic needs to be uncooked and spontaneous, akin to actual life. One other was that she ought to ask her pal Samer Ghadry, a sound healer and jazz drummer, to play on it. Ghadry’s longtime collaborator Dave Harrington, whom he met whereas learning at Brown, joined them.
“I needed to enter the studio with musicians who know how one can improvise,” Deradoorian mentioned. “There’s a component of error or sloppiness, nevertheless it was reflective of this want to not management issues an excessive amount of, and to let the setting be intertwined within the recording.” She hoped for her singing, too, to be “much less flashy” and extra weak. The nine-minute jam “The Illuminator” options congas, bells and Deradoorian enjoying the flute and intoning “The facility of depth/The facility of radiance/The facility of enjoyment!”
“I can write a pop tune,” she mentioned, “however I like music that may circulation and alter, with a root to return to.”
Deradoorian grew up in Sacramento, the daughter of artists; her father is a painter and saxophonist, and her mom is a visible artist and wire sculptor. After leaving highschool early, at 16, to tour with a handful of indie bands, she moved to Brooklyn, the place, in her earliest months, she was a member of at least six totally different tasks. At one level, she performed alongside Jack Antonoff as a multi-instrumentalist in his band Steel Train.
She joined Dirty Projectors when she was 20. She had met its singer and guitarist Amber Coffman in Sacramento, and after they crossed paths in Brooklyn, Coffman invited her into the band — led by Dave Longstreth — as they prepared to introduce the virtuosic art-rock harmonies of “Bitte Orca” to the world in 2009. Coffman and Deradoorian’s voices were crucial components of its sound; they’re pictured on the cover.
In an interview, Longstreth called Deradoorian “a hugely defining part” of her era of Dirty Projectors. “She’s an epic personality,” he said. “You get her sense of humor, but also her sense of concentration and her seriousness.”
Dirty Projectors’ marathon practices could last 12 hours, and Deradoorian said she has held on to the discipline of those years. “I had to learn to sing with more conviction,” she said. “I started to understand how versatile the voice can be.”
After Deradoorian left the band, she relocated to Baltimore, worked odd jobs and played in Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, a side project started by the Animal Collective member Dave Portner. She slowly wrote her own songs, throwing many of them away.
“Coming out of bands where I was in a position of support, and also being a woman, I did not feel like I deserved to focus on myself and my own desires,” she said of this challenging creative period. “I was so used to being there for other people. It took me a long time to really be OK with doing that.”
But Deradoorian says she is doing her most meaningful work now. Amid the lyrical images of singing bowls and infinite skies on “Find the Sun,” she narrates her breakthrough on “Corsican Shores”: “Wanted bad just to be somebody/Didn’t see that I was somebody/Now I know that I am.”
And for all of the existential questing at the heart of her songs, the pure joy of Black Sabbath Cover Band Rehearsals has offered her spiritual sustenance, too. There are even echoes of its heavy, blown-out guitars in the self-possessed sound of “Find the Sun.”
“That is a perfect band,” Deradoorian said. “It has been a great lesson that I didn’t know I needed.”
She also attributed her perseverance to an ongoing dialogue around art within her strong community of musicians — like the drummer Greg Fox and the bassist Ben Greenberg, whom she collaborated with last year performing Terry Riley’s minimalist classic, “A Rainbow in Curved Air” — and friends such as the drone metal musician Stephen O’Malley.
“I feel like I finally found my closest musical family,” she said. “That is the reason I can keep doing this.”